Friday, October 19, 2018

“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”

“You will never do anything in this world without courage.  It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle: (384–322 BC: was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist 

Gospel Text: (LK 12:1-7)
At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
"Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."

Hidden fears are dangerous. We all walk around with fears in our hearts, some are very visible in our face and speech, others are well concealed within our awareness. Some of us do not realize how we are controlled by our fears: our fear of not having enough of food and resources, our fear of being told what to do by others, our fear of dying. We mistakenly believe that we can overcome our fears by being more powerful, having more money and being better armed than the people around us.

Jesus says in today’s Gospel: “Do not be afraid of those who those who can kill the body, but after that can do no more.” This is difficult for us to grasp. For so many of us, our greatest fear is of those who want to take away our human life. Human instinct takes over. We either fight or run from this danger. This is normal. And yet, like our saints we honor today, we can choose to overcome this fear and allow our lives to be at risk for the sake of the Gospel.

Jesus also goes on to say: “Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna, yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.” What does Jesus mean by that? I think he means that we may be willing to sell out our Gospel values for saving our human lives and our creature comforts. 

I think we all know what our Gospel values are.

The first letter of St. John says it well: Perfect love drives out fear!” (I John 4:18) May Love help us overcome every fear we have!

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